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Family Fun: Science experiments for kids during holiday break

(WITN)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 7:50 AM EST
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The holiday break for children in the east is fast approaching. Parents, if you’re scrambling to find some educational ways to keep them entertained, we have some answers!

Ms. Covey Denton and her children stopped by WITN News at Sunrise on Thursday to go over some fun science experiments for kids to try at home.

Be sure to watch the attached videos to see the experiments for yourself!

Holiday Spinners

The weight of the paper clip pulls the spinner down toward the ground because of gravity. Due to its shape, the moving air pushes up on the blades and causes it to spin around.

This is similar to the shape of helicopter blades. It’s inspired by nature: Maple seeds glide down slowly and can be carried by wind to land far from the tree it grew on.

The Mysterious Roll-Back Can

The Magic Roll-Back Can is an example of transfer of energy. When you roll the can, it has kinetic energy. As it slows down, the energy is transferred into potential energy within the twisted rubber band inside the can. The ban’s potential energy is then transferred back to the can in kinetic energy as it untwists.

The secret to the energy transfer comes from inside the can-- where the weight taped to rubber band is. While the weight is being pulled down by gravity, it is also being exposed to a twisting force from the rubber band. As long as the weight never goes over the rubber band, it will continue to twist.

Once all of the kinetic energy from the rolling can has been exhausted by friction, the can stops rolling and the weighted rubber band is able to unwind. Since the weight is in the middle of the rubber band, only the ends of the loop are able to unwind, which causes the can to start rolling backwards.

Toilet Paper Shooter

The toilet paper shooter highlights Bernoulli’s Principle. Bernoulli discovered that the faster air flows over a surface, the less it pushes on that surface, which means it has lower pressure.

In this experiment, the moving air from the blower creates a lot of low pressure air around the roll of toilet paper. When you blow across the top of a roll of toilet paper, you lower the air pressure at that point. The air has higher pressure under the flapping paper, causing it to lift up.

Covey Denton is an award-winning science teacher at the Greenfield School in Wilson. She and her kids make regular appearances on WITN News at Sunrise.

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